Range anxiety is one of the biggest hurdles to widespread EV adoption. But to build a car with longer range, you need a bigger battery pack. Unfortunately, the bigger the battery, the higher the price.
But what if instead of increasing the battery size, you turned the entire car into a battery pack on wheels?
Volvo is working with several research groups to replace the metallic parts of cars with a composite material that will one day power its vehicles. The composite is a blend of carbon fibers and polymer resin that can store energy and charge and discharge faster than conventional batteries. The only downside is that it's still a few years away.
Volvo got involved with this three-year project started by the Imperial College in London early this year. The first stage of the project is to produce this material on an industrial scale and study ways to replace existing metallic components in the car with the composite battery, starting with the car's spare wheel recess. … Read more